Friday, September 4, 2009

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I can't say they didn't warn me about the fourth week. They told us to be ready for it. Ready to feel a little out of place. A little homesick.

Maybe it's because the novelty wears off around the fourth week. Maybe it's because new friendships are budding, but you haven't reached a point of genuine closeness yet. Maybe it's because friends from home have started to adjust to you not being there, so there are no longer constant reminders that you are missed. Out of sight, out of mind, you think (even though you know that isn't really true). And then all of a sudden, home is all you can think about.

On Tuesday my mom told me a funny story of how my dad had seen my car in the driveway and thought that I was at their house. Ordinarily, I would have laughed and said that I needed to start looking into retirement homes for him soon. Not so this week. Instead I just burst into tears. Fourth week.

As I lay in my bed that night, I decided that if I could be real with no one else, I needed to be real with God. I don't know why it's my natural tendency to seek comfort in another person first. I tend to ignore Him as long as there are people around. I guess that's why sometimes He has to strip us of all of our people. So He did, and I was real with Him. I told Him I was sad and homesick and that it hurt. I asked Him to be my joy.

He listened. And whereas another person doesn't have the capacity to be my joy, God does. The next morning, I woke up with a sense of genuine joy and peace that could have only come from Him.

God used my sadness and His answer to my prayer to give me a special bonding moment with my students yesterday.  At one point during the day, they started to talk about feeling homesick on the ship.  I was able to be real with them about how I had been feeling a few days ago.  I told them about how I had taken my sadness to God and how He had answered me so clearly.  It brought 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 to life, as I was able to comfort my little ones with the same comfort my Heavenly Father had so graciously given to me.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

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